Compassionate leave

Previously known as bereavement leave, compassionate leave enables full-time and part-time employees to access 2 full days paid leave each time a member of the immediate family or household dies or contracts a life threatening illness or injury.

Like personal/carer’s leave, having a stringent compassionate leave policy in place is essential. Whilst you would hate to think this leave is abused, we have all heard of the HR manager who has an employee with 6 deceased grandfathers! Employers are well within their rights to ask for evidence that satisfies them leave is being used for the proper purpose. An example of this evidence may be a statutory declaration. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, discretion is vital in this area. Evidence is something you may only choose to request in suspicious circumstances.

Compassionate leave, unlike annual leave and personal/carer’s leave, doesn’t accrue based on an employee’s ordinary hours of work. Essentially this means an employee can access paid leave immediately when they commence with you (should the occasion arise). As this leave doesn’t accrue, it is not paid out on termination of employment nor does it ‘roll over’ from year to year like annual leave and personal/carer’s leave. When an employee accesses this leave they are simply paid at their base rate of pay for the hours they would have worked.

Community service leave

Employees are entitled to be absent from work to participate in eligible emergency services activities or jury duty.

Community service leave is generally unpaid, however if an employee is absent for the purpose of serving on a jury, they will be entitled to be paid at their base rate of pay for the first 10 days of their absence. If an employee receives money from serving on a jury, any money they receive is deducted from what an employer will be obligated to pay.

Community service leave, unlike annual leave or personal/carer’s leave, doesn’t accrue based on an employee’s ordinary hours. The leave is uncapped. As the leave is unpaid, paid leave will not accrue on any absence however unlike other forms of unpaid leave, it will count as ‘service’ for the purpose of calculating an employee’s tenure.